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Soreness is good and scales are pointless: the 10 biggest myths in fitness

Using Scales

Scales are actually useful in providing you with information about your general progress and direction.

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Soreness is good and scales are pointless: the 10 biggest myths in fitness

Soreness is good and scales are pointless: the 10 biggest myths in fitness

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/feb/24/10-biggest-myths-in-fitness-scales-are-pointless

theguardian.com

10

Key Ideas

Sore Is Not Always Good

While it feels satisfying to have sore, aching limbs, and a sign of a good workout. This is entirely unnecessary and one can eliminate the soreness by doing slow reps, or avoiding eccentric (muscle lengthening) movements that can cause muscle tears. Progress is possible without sore limbs.

Heavy Lifting For Bulk

One can get stronger by increasing the size of the individual muscle fibers, and by recruiting more of the muscle fiber to work together when needed. 

A bulky body is also considered a negative in certain sports. Getting bulky is a specific, targeted training which includes high-volume exercises, calorie intake, and protein supplements, and cannot be attained by simply lifting heavier weights.

Using Scales

Scales are actually useful in providing you with information about your general progress and direction.

Exercise Is Not Bad For Knees

This oft-repeated myth is often used as an excuse. Knees actually get better with properly done squats. 

Running is also considered a great way to keep the knee stabilizer muscles in good shape and lower the risk of arthritis.

Spot Reduction Of Fat

While it seems logical to target certain areas of the body, it is best to exercise in a holistic manner, not messing up with any particular areas of the body. You can’t really choose where you will lose fat from.

Less Rest and Hard Work

While modern fitness classes detest rest, less of it between reps will, in fact, do the opposite: negate your hard work.

Using Machines

Machines, though limiting your natural movement, are providing extra stimulus to an isolated, specific set of muscles. 

Machines aren't counterproductive or dangerous, and simply need to be combined with free-body exercises.

Myth 8: Cross Trainers= Best Cardio

While it does provide a designed body movement, there are many alternatives. Cross-trainers are popular as they are intuitive and do help burn some calories, but they aren’t the best.

Shorter and Faster

Speed is sometimes the enemy in a workout and longer workouts have effects which short sprints or micro-workouts cannot compete with. Doing ‘flash’ workouts may be necessary sometimes due to time limitations, but that’s all the benefit there is.

One Best Way To Train

Not all of us are created equal and have different energy levels, body type, and general physiology. An ideal physical activity should be something that doesn’t injure us, does not make us weary or sad or make us want to stop doing it.

So there isn’t any best way to train ourselves, just that we can do any physical activity that suits us.

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Different exercises for men and women

Both sexes have the same body structure but different hormonal make-ups which may mean a difference in muscle strength but does not mean they should work out any differently. 

“Men tend to focus on abs, chest and arms, and women tend to focus on gluts and legs,” Maik Wiedenbach notes. “They’re each forgetting one half of their bodies.”

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Calories In Calories Out Principle Is Out
Calories In Calories Out Principle Is Out

This myth is usually followed with “X makes you fat, not calories”. That X is usually a macronutrient such as carbs or fat. Sometimes it’s a chemical found in the foods.

Eating Small Meals And High Metabolism

The rationale behind this myth is the fact that when you eat, your energy expenditure goes up during digestion. 

The problem with this myth is that the amount of extra calories you burn during digestion is directly correlated with the calories you consume. That means eating ten 200 Calorie meals increase the metabolism at the same rate as eating two 1,000 Calorie meals.

Diet Sodas And Weight Gain

Although there are many potential health effects of diet sodas and artificial sweeteners, weight gain is not one of them. Your body can’t store fat out of nothing.

For some people, consuming certain beverages may trigger a craving for another food. If you know when you drink diet soda, you are going to crave some other food, avoid it.   

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Pain after workout

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Calories burned by stair climbing

Walking up the stairs is perceived by the body as effort. Even a person who plays sports will sooner or later feel the typical tension in the muscles. 

If you have reached the point when simply walking up the stairs is too easy for you, use weights or try skipping one or two steps (if there are no medical contraindications).

Exercise vs. Diet

Fitness coaches all over the world are unanimous in their opinions that success in building a beautiful body is 30% dependent on exercise and 70% on nutrition...

Exercise vs. Diet

Fitness coaches all over the world are unanimous in their opinions that success in building a beautiful body is 30% dependent on exercise and 70% on nutrition.

However, even the most rigorous workout can only cover the caloric value of one chocolate bar, at most. 

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Lack of Willpower

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Poor Support Structure

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Unrealistic Expectations

If you are 50lbs overweight and give yourself five weeks to get ripped abs or tight buns, you are quite simply setting yourself up for failure.

This body is achievable, it isn't going to happen overnight, but if you set yourself a goal and motivate yourself it is achievable. 

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Ramp up slowly

If you did 3 short runs in your first week, you shouldn’t double that for week 2, even if you feel fine. 

Progress takes more time than you think, because each body system adapts ...

A beginner routine should include:
  • Most or all of your runs at a pace that feels comfortable, controlled, and conversational.
  • Exercise that is not running, if you feel that the above isn’t enough for you: Cycling and other cross-training can work your lungs and muscles without putting too much strain on your tendons and ligaments.
  • Strength training, to help everything get stronger and more adaptable.
The "too-much-too-soon" trap

It's usually not the shoes you're wearing, or your posture, but forcing yourself to accomplish too much from the very start that's causing you physical pain.

If you started running in the last few weeks or months and you get injured, you probably have nothing to blame but the fact that you’ve been doing too much, too soon.

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Carbohydrates make you gain weight

Research reveals that people gain weight because of excess calorie intake and lack of exercise, not because of the proportion of dietary fat or carbohydrates.

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Chaining

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Precommitment

Precommitments are actions that get you invested in going to the gym. If you’ve committed to going with a partner, you’re hardly going to leave them hanging.

Similarly, bringing clothes with you to work, packing your gym bag in advance, or laying out your workout clothes before bed for a morning workout are tricks that make it easier to stay consistent.

Rewards

In order to be effective, a reward needs to occur frequently and immediately after a workout. 

Plus, it needs to be associated with going to the gym – the reward doesn’t mean much if you can have it whenever you want.

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The real benefits

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Home exercises can help

It's tough to build a lot of strength or otherwise make progress without the incremental weights you find at a gym, but a few inexpensive home tools and specific movements can go a long way.

It is important to ensure that you prioritize compound movements that work muscle systems, not individual muscles. You'll get a lot more done in less time if you focus on bigger movements - squat, bench, deadlift, row, overhead press.

Lower and upper body movements

Goblet squats and squat jumps are great for your lower body when you only have dumbbells. You could also try lunge variations, split squats, step-ups, and deadlift variations.

For your upper body, you could do some chest presses, pushups, row variations, curls, tricep extensions or pullups (if you have a pullup bar installed in a doorway.)

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CrossFit definition

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Each day, t...

Scalable based on your skill

Every day there is a particular workout prescribed that is completely scalable based on your skill. For example, if the workout calls for barbell squats with 135 pounds but you can only do squats with the bar (45 pounds), then that’s where you’ll start.

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  • People looking for support and community: Every CrossFit gym has a really tight-knit community feel to it.
  • Fitness fanatics: The general protocol is 3 days on, 1 day off, but many CrossFitters end up at the gym more frequently. 
  • Masochists: You’ll often be in situations where you use all your effort to finish a workout and continue to push yourself beyond.
  • Former athletes: You get to compete with people in your class and go online to see how you did against the world’s elite CrossFit athletes.

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Mental Health on the Rise

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Exercise also has a psychological benefit of making us feel great.

Using exercise as a social activity, we improve our self-esteem and get to meet new people, forming healthy and positive connections

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